Got the Monday blues? I’ve got your remedy with today’s recipe. You guys, this one is…my newest favorite thing. I know I say that ALL THE TIME about everything I share with you guys, but no, really. This is my most favorite new thing. (For now.)
It all started with the most gorgeous fresh blackberries. Normally, I’m more of a strawberry or blueberry girl, but the blackberries have been looking too purdy to pass up. And they have been crazy sweet and wonderful. I’ve been gorging myself on them (alongside plentiful amounts of watermelon. Watermelon forever and ever and ever), either popping them straight from their container or blitzing them up with lots of greens and banana in smoothies. I cannot get enough.
These beautiful blackberries got me thinking. Thinking about berry desserts and how I haven’t made a ton of them. And then my mind went to tarts, which I DEFINITELY haven’t made a lot of because they intimidate the heck out of me. The same way that pie does. I know it’s an irrational fear, but the crust just throws me for such a loop. I have yet to find that “perfect” pie/tart dough that everyone else seems to have found. We didn’t grow up eating a lot of pastry, so I don’t have that “tried-and-true pie dough recipe from four generations ago” to rely on. Thus, as quickly as I had thought about making a berry tart, I had talked myself out of it.
AND THEN. I thought to myself “blackberries and chocolate would probably taste really good together.” It works with strawberries, right? And raspberries? So blackberries, with their deeper, darker, more complex sweetness, would just HAVE to work with chocolate, right? RIGHT. Oh so freaking right. They pair with chocolate SO well, in fact, that they may have just topped strawberries as my favorite berry-chocolate combo. Yup. Things are getting serious.
(Also, I’ll try to cool it with all the caps. I’m just feeling extra passionate about this situation on this Monday morning.)
I couldn’t shake the idea of blackberry chocolate ganache. Inside a tart or pie. Topped with fresh berries and powdered sugar. I talked myself in and out of the idea like five times in an hour because….well, the crust conundrum. And then it hit me! Why not make a no-bake tart and use America’s favorite sandwich cookies as the crust? Because how in the world would that ever be BAD?!
I am so glad I took the plunge, guys. This tart, in all its low-brow crust ways, is one of (if not THE) most delicious desserts I’ve ever made. Yes, really. I want to say that this will remain true until the next dessert I share with you guys, but I am convinced right now, in this moment, that not many things could top this. It’s crazy good.
The ganache filling is made up of rich, bittersweet chocolate, pureed blackberries, a leeeettle sugar, a splash of Chambord, vanilla bean paste, and mascarpone cheese! All whisked together until creamy, decadent, heavenly perfection is achieved. I could barely contain myself when the filling was done; I kept dipping my spoon into it over and over again. I couldn’t stop! It tastes like all the wonderful things: chocolate ganache, chocolate-dipped berries, vanilla bean, and even red wine! I know that last one might seem like a stretch, but the filling really is reminiscent of a good red zinfandel. The teensy splash of Chambord may have something to do with that.
As if this filling wasn’t enough, I poured it into the duh-it’s-gonna-be-good Oreo crust, decorated it with more blackberries, and chilled it until everything was set, all while doing cartwheels (not literally) around the kitchen…because I knew, I just KNEW, that this one was going to be something special. I think I was actually giddy while cleaning up the kitchen. Practically singing and dancing.
After a tortuous hour or so, I pulled the tart out of the fridge and decorated it with a little dusting of powdered sugar and some fresh mint sprigs. I took its beauty shots. And then, the moment I was waiting for: I tasted it. I big, honkin’ bite went into my mouth and I just about died. Right there in my dining room. Right in front of the windows where my neighbor was walking by with his dog at that exact moment (I wonder what he thought I was doing with my camera around my neck, fork shoved in my mouth, and the look of ecstasy that must have been on my face). I almost melted into a big puddle of happiness.
You know why? The tart tasted even better than I was expecting and hoping it would. It tasted even better than it looked (and it’s a fine lookin’ tart, if I do say so myself). It tasted like dreams. Chocolate and berry and wine dreams. Oh, with some Oreo goodness thrown in for good measure. It was sweet and tart and chocolatey and creamy and crunchy all at once. And the fact that it was chilled made it taste even better on that hot day.
It was so good, I didn’t stop talking or snapping (if you want in on my general obnoxiousness, follow me on Snapchat at username mooberto) about it for two days. It was so good, I haven’t been able to stop myself from picking at it all weekend long, sneaking a bite or three here and there right out of the fridge.
And ya know what? It’s so good, I think it would greatly improve anything Monday can throw at you. Really. Make this (it’s actually really easy!) as soon as you can and have your ecstasy-in-the-window moment too.
Monday can kiss it.
24 Oreo cookies (I used the Double Stuf kind because it's the only way to Oreo in my mind)
Pinch of fine salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
10 oz fresh or defrosted frozen blackberries
¼ cup powdered sugar (or more to taste - will depend on the sweetness of your berries)
4 oz dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1 tablespoon Chambord liqueur (optional)
8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
1½ cups fresh blackberries
Fresh mint sprigs
Pulse the cookies and salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. With the machine running, stream in the melted butter. The mixture should be slightly moist and crumbly.
Press the mixture into a buttered tart pan (I used a 14-inch long rectangular one, but this would work in a 9-inch round pan too!), evenly pressing it into the corners and up the sides. Chill the crust in the fridge for at least 45 minutes before filling.
Puree the berries in a food processor until smooth. Place a fine mesh strainer over a small saucepan and strain the mixture through to remove the seeds. Discard the seeds.
Place the pan over medium heat and add the powdered sugar, whisking well to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the berry juice is thickened and reduced by about half.
Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a heat safe bowl. Pour the hot berry juice over the chocolate and allow to sit for about 30 seconds. Stir the mixture together until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and Chambord.
Stir in the mascarpone cheese until completely smooth. The filling should be thick and creamy but still pourable.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Decorate the top with fresh blackberries and then refrigerate for at least an hour.
Before serving, garnish with a few mint sprigs and a dusting of powdered sugar. Keep the tart chilled until ready to serve and store any leftovers in the fridge.